By Mark Ellis –
Dropping out after her first year of college, she interviewed with the “Bunny Mother” at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and soon found herself donning a skimpy outfit with rabbit ears and bunny tail, serving drinks to ogling men.
“I was among many drop-dead gorgeous women,” Robyn Dykstra told God Reports. “Playboy makes you think you are no more irreplaceable than a golf cart. There were 100 women behind me who would step into my stilettos if I got fired or broke the rules.”
Despite Playboy’s uninhibited image, the rules outlined in the Bunny Handbook Robyn received in the late 70s were strictly Levitical:
Bunnies were not allowed to date customers.
Bunnies were not allowed in any of the hotel rooms on the property for any reason.
Bunnies could not be in the company of any male on the property without a permission slip from the Bunny Mother.
Bunnies could not have tattoos, wear eyeglasses, earrings, wedding rings, or jewelry of any kind except for Playboy cufflinks.
Bunny shoes must be plain, closed-toe pumps, without straps or decorations, with a minimum three-inch heel.
Bunnies must wear false eyelashes and vivid, bright lipstick for every shift.
Bunnies must not eat, drink, smoke, or sit in front of customers.
Bunnies must weigh in weekly. Weight changes that would affect the “Bunny Image” were cause for suspension or dismissal.
For her adherence to Playboy’s highly-crafted fantasy look, she was well-paid. “I made more money than my mom and dad combined,” she says. Even though her starting pay was $2.20 an hour, she received generous tips. “People would give you $50 bills for looking pretty and smiling. It was hard work; I was a glorified cocktail waitress.”
Robyn grew up in a single parent home with a liberally minded mom. Caught up in the sexual revolution of the Seventies, she didn’t view Playboy magazine as pornography. “According to the First Amendment and my mother, Playboy had just as much right to publish as Time or Life,” she notes in her book, The Widow Wore Pink.
“I had been sexually active for years. I believed my body was mine to do with as I pleased. I believed there was such a thing as safe sex, and that if I was responsible, my choice to have sex wouldn’t hurt me or anyone else.”
She also used sex to manipulate men. “Men were so ridiculously willing to say or do anything to see a naked woman,” she recounts. She had sex for fun, favors, sympathy, birthday presents, and parting gifts.
Robyn had a distorted view of Christians, based on what she had seen in the media. “I was pretty sure they weren’t allowed to have any fun. They couldn’t go to movies or out dancing,” she thought. She imagined Christian women were forced to have huge families and live in multi-generational communes.
Before she dropped out of college, Robyn met a Christian man named Jay who seemed to confound her stereotype in some respects. “He wasn’t at all what I expected Christians to be like – all pious and stodgy,” she notes.
When she learned he was a virgin, she devised a plan to seduce him. He firmly but gently rebuffed her advances, and the two drifted apart, but remained friends.
Instead, Robyn married an ex-con she met at the Club, a man named Ron who served seven years at Joliet State Penitentiary for armed robbery. After Ron lost his temper and hit her one day, she filed for divorce and went back to school to become a teacher.
Her previous friendship with Jay reemerged and blossomed into romance. Both of their moms were against the thought of the two marrying. “My mom didn’t want me to marry a religious fanatic who would brainwash me,” she recounts. “Helen (Jay’s mom) didn’t want her son to marry a Jezebel, a heathen girl who had no idea how to love him like he deserved.”
During the couple’s premarital counseling with Jay’s minister, it emerged that Robyn was opposed to having children. She viewed children as “baggage.” She wanted Jay’s undivided attention and thought babies were “spotlight stealers.”
Shortly before their wedding, they attended an evening church service together at a traditional church with stained glass windows.
At the end of the message, the pastor said, “God has sent his Spirit to save you because he loves you so much! All of us on this earth are sinners. The wages of sin is death, and that means we’re all bound for eternal damnation unless we confess our sins to God and turn away from them.
“God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to pay for all your sins. Jesus died in your place and then he rose from the dead after three days in the grave to prove he had conquered death. Jesus is the only way to God in heaven. Tonight, it is my prayer that anyone who has not already done so receive Jesus as their personal Savior.”
The pastor invited people to pray the sinner’s prayer.
“Whatever ‘saved’ meant, I knew I needed it, so I silently repeated the prayer after the pastor:
“Dear Jesus, I admit I am a sinner…Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins…I am asking you to forgive me…I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord…Thank you for giving me eternal life…Amen.”
When the pastor asked people to raise their hand if they said the prayer for the first time, Robyn didn’t raise her hand, because she wanted to talk about it with Jay first.
As they drove home, he was quiet, and then she told him she prayed the prayer.
“I knew it,” he exclaimed. “I mean, I thought so, I hoped so. I saw you crying, and I just knew the Spirit was moving in you.”
To make sure, Robyn prayed the sinner’s prayer a second time with Jay in the car. “He was so happy he spun doughnuts in the parking lot like a redneck who has been sampling his own moonshine.”
Their marriage lasted 14 years, but ended tragically with Jay’s untimely death at age 39, leaving behind two children, ages seven and four. Robyn’s third husband, Craig, died unexpectedly at age 41, only a few short years into their marriage.
In Robyn’s book, The Widow Wore Pink, she offers hope and encouragement to those who
face unexpected tragedy and loss. “I felt the presence of God during that season,” she told God Reports. She was grateful to be surrounded by a praying community of believers.
“Sometimes people betray us, you face sickness, disaster, and you wonder if He is still on the throne. It is never too late for a fresh start with Jesus. He is trustworthy.
“Though the earth may shake, still the Lord is faithful.”
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
Robyn Dykstra is in full time ministry with her fourth husband, Dave, who she calls “Mr. 4-ever.” They have been married 20 years and teach the Bible at women’s events. To learn more, click here